Parra, Goldschmidt bring home NL Gold Gloves
PHOENIX -- Add another hue to the Diamondbacks' color scheme. Polished gold. Gerardo Parra won the NL Gold Glove in right field and Paul Goldschmidt won at first base when the awards were announced by Rawlings on Tuesday night. Left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin was a finalist for the award won by St. Louis' Adam Wainwright. Parra won his second Gold Glove in three seasons, this time in right field, where he spent his first full season as a starter after replacing Justin Upton. Parra also won while playing left field in 2011, the first season the three outfield awards were broken down by position.
"Pretty cool," Goldschmidt, who also won the Hank Aaron Award as the NL's top hitter this season, told the Associated Press. "It's a huge honor to get recognized. There's so many great players around the league."
The D-backs tied for the NL lead in fewest errors (75) and best fielding percentage (.988), and the players know what they have. "I'm a guy who relies heavily on my defense, and to know I have a couple Gold Glovers behind me allows me to have that peace of mind that if the ball is put in play, a high percentage of the time, it'll be an out," D-backs closer Brad Ziegler said. Goldschmidt finished ahead of Adrian Gonzalez and Anthony Rizzo, capping a spectacular season in which he hit .302, led the league with 125 RBI and tied for the lead with 36 home runs. Goldschmidt led the league in slugging percentage and OPS, and was plus-13 in runs saved above average at first base, according to a metric used by baseball-reference.com. Gonzalez is a three-time winner, twice with San Diego and once with Boston.
Goldschmidt and Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen are considered the top two candidates for the NL MVP award to be announced in two weeks, although the Gold Glove award will have no bearing on the race, since all BBWAA awards ballots are due before the start of the postseason. McCutchen, a finalist for a Gold Glove in center field, lost to Milwaukee fence-climber Carlos Gomez. Parra was plus-41 in runs saved above average in right field and was tied with Atlanta's Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons for the most runs saves in the major leagues, according to baseball-reference.com. Parra set a D-backs record with 17 outfield assists, a franchise record, and beat out Cincinnati's Jay Bruce and Atlanta's Jason Hayward.
"They both work very hard and they've come a long way," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Parra and Goldschmidt in a statement released by the Diamondbacks. "That was one of their goals, to be able to do that and it's good to see that they are honored with Gold Glove awards.”
The D-backs led the NL and were second in the majors with a plus-88 runs saved above average. Earlier in the day, Parra and Goldschmidt were named winners of the Fielding Bible awards as the best defenders at their positions in the major leagues. The winners are chosen by a panel of experts that includes the father of statistical analysis, Bill James, and the selections are based on advanced metrics. Goldschmidt is the third NL player to win the Hank Aaron Award and a Gold Glove, joining Andruw Jones and Matt Kemp.
In addition to Parra, the only previous Gold Glove winners in D-backs history are second baseman Orlando Hudson and outfielder Steve Finley, each of whom won the award twice.
The other National League winners were: St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips, Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado and left fielder Carlos Gonzalez and Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
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